Anita Krajnc and the Pig Trial

Hello all!

A few months back I did a post on Toronto Pig Save, and today I wanted to circle back to that topic because of the “pig trial” that is currently going on. Have you guys been hearing all about the trial lately?!

It’s all I’ve been seeing on my social media feeds! There’s a lot of organizations posting about “Stand with Anita” and “Pig Trial,” and I think it’s great that TPS, specifically Anita Krajnc, is getting so much attention.

Basically, the very short story of the deal is that back in 2015, a truck driver got mad at TPS for giving the pigs water. The whole ordeal was caught on tape, and it’s been an ongoing trial of Anita being charged with criminal mischief.

I feel like we’re fighting logistics and ignoring the bigger problem, that problem being that society is totally fine with the enslavement of living beings. Just because they don’t speak our language doesn’t mean they don’t have languages of their own (scientifically proven!) and are intelligent beings that we should be exploiting.

Actually, I don’t even care how intelligent they are. Whether they are smarter than us or not, we should not be exploiting living, sentient beings for profit. Imagine if the status of our lives, whether we got eaten or not, depended on our intelligence? It would be a barbaric world to say the least.

So Anita is not only one of the most compassionate people I’ve heard of, but she’s also a totalllll badass.

“The activist has said her only crime was compassion and that she would do it again.”

Seriously, go Anita, girl!

14054968_10154128435014475_7960392229306752836_n.jpg

I admire the work that Anita and all of TPS does. They are all EXTREMELY brave and I don’t know if I would have the courage to do what they do.

That being said, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I feel that my strength does not lie in my activism in terms of protesting and live demonstrations and vigils, but in my communication skills, for instance, writing this blog. I think that if I did what Anita did every day, I would constantly be getting caught up in my emotions and not portray myself professionally. Do you feel me on that? Maybe I’m just an emotional mess over animals all the time tho…. HA.

Anyway, that’s one thing that I love about the animal rights movement, there is virtually a million different ways to help. No matter what you’re good at, chances are you can morph that into your own form of activism. When I started my first year of college, I remember not having a clue what I wanted to do, other than help animals. I remember googling “what to major in if you want to help animals” and learning about public relations, and realizing that it was a perfect fit for me and the field I was interested in. At first, it can feel discouraging, as if there are no jobs in animal rights, but I assure you that there are! The last 4 jobs I have had all have been in the field, so keep looking to any of you who want to work to help the animals! (Also always feel free to contact me for job advice, this girl has done her fair share of searching around for jobs!)

Back to the trial tho!

One thing that really gives me a gross feeling is a statement from an article that the Chicago Tribune posted. The article states “Eric Van Boekel, the farmer who owned the pigs in Veldjesgraaf’s truck…” and then goes on to talk about what this man thinks of animal rights activism. The part of this statement that irks me SO much is “the farmer who owned the pigs,”part.

This is our problem. Society views living, sentient, intelligent being, as property.

We can do all we want to try to get people to see animals as more than just property, but it all comes down to the fact that the law views these animal as property. Property! We have all learned from history that considering a living being as “property” can be quite controversial.

Well I wanted to keep this post short and sweet because I have a LOT of opinions on this trial, and quite frankly, I don’t know if anyone actually wants to hear them! LOL but what are your opinions on Toronto Pig Save and the trial in general? I encourage everyone to read up on the issue as much as possible because even though not directly, this affects us all as activists.

Have a great night everyone and never be afraid to speak up for what you believe in!❤

My simple sassy vegan beauty morning routine

Helloooooo everyone! How’s Thursday treating you today?

Today’s topic is something that I’m sure we all have a lot to say about, because it’s something that we all do! That thing that we all do? Get ourselves ready in the morning! Whether you’re a throw your hair up in a pony and go kinda gal, or a spend over 2 hours on hair and makeup, we all have a morning routine that we stick to.

Untitled-1.jpg

Since starting my new job at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, I have developed a quick and easy morning routine that I really want to share/compare and contrast with you guys! While I do consider myself to be a morning person, I do not love getting all dolled up at 8:00 in the morning. I like to wake up niiiiice and slow, so putting on multiple coats of mascara and contouring my face just isn’t on the itinerary.

I do not, though, want to show up to work looking like a complete mess, so I’ve got a few quick and easy cruelty free and vegan beauty steps that I take.

IMG_9521.jpg

So let’s start with my new favorite,

Jade Rolling!

I bought this jade roller at the beginning of the summer after doing a little research on why we should all jade roll our faces every day. Jade rolling is basically just rolling jade across your face, and people swear by it because it “revs up circulation, de-puffs the eye area, and improves skin elasticity—and since it promotes lymphatic drainage, it’s detoxifying.” I hadn’t even heard of jade rolling since before this summer, and it has reallyyyy changed the game!

IMG_9462

I keep mine in the freezer so that it mega-de-puffs my eyes and face because of how cold it is. Ever hear of an ice facial to reduce puffiness? This is basically a less-painful version of that, with all the added benefits of jade and lymphatic drainage! Along with my jade roller, I always

Ice Roll

I bought my ice roller around the same time as my jade roller, for mostly the same reasons. I love this ice roller because the head of it is an icepack that you keep in your freezer. It’s a lot bigger than my jade roller, so it covers more of my face and is fun to use not only on your face, but also on your neck and any other part of your body that you want to keep firm and non-puffy.

IMG_9456.jpg

Ice rolling and jade rolling is SO relaxing. It is not only part of my morning routine for beauty reasons, but for relaxation reasons as well! It wakes me up, but in a non-obnoxious way. It’s like a cooling summer’s night breeze that feels good and wakes up the senses!

So after my face gets woken up, de-puffed, and is nice and firm, the next thing I do is use

Oil Blotting Sheets!

I LOVE oil blotting sheets. Is anyone else obsessed with them as well? They leave such a nice matte finish and are also super cheap, so that never hurts. I buy store brand oil blotting sheets because they’re cheaper and don’t test on animals. I would have an up close picture of the ones that I use, but I got a littleeeee distracted when I was taking pictures outside… This GORGEOUS cat walked right up to me and completely took up 100% of my attention for the rest of my time outside, oops!

IMG_9534.jpg

Look at that lil smile, she must have known that I was taking pictures for my animal-friendly blog!❤

(Pardon the hair-do, I had an oil mask in! I don’t know what my excuse for my derpy face is though…)

Back to oil blotting sheets, there’s something about getting my face super cold, then soaking up all the leftover oil from last night’s oil application that just gets my face looking fresh and ready for the day.

So once my face has been prepped, next thing to focus on is my hair. As you may or may not already know, I don’t wash my hair that often! The first day after a shower, my ends are always super soft and my roots aren’t greasy. The longer I go, the greasier my roots get and the dryer my ends get. To fix these problems, I use dry shampoo on my roots to freshen that up, and oil and leave in conditioner on my ends to make them nice and soft. Then I use my Wet Brush (❤❤❤ ) to comb through my ends to distribute the oil and leave in conditioner. So let’s first talk

Dry Shampoo

I recently talked about my LOVE for Batiste dry shampoo, but I’ve recently branched out to Not Your Mother’s brand!

IMG_9484.jpg

It is VERY different from Batiste for a number of reasons, but I still like it a lot! It gives my hair way more volume, but is almost impossible to fully rub out of my hair so my hair always looks a little duller and matte when I use this brand. Either way though, all I do in the morning is do a quick spritz of it on my roots, work it through with my hands, and try to rub the whiteness out with a washcloth. After my roots are looking super clean and fresh, I focus on my ends with some…

Hair oil and leave in conditioner!

IMG_9476.jpg

I am REALLY into this hair oil. It does wonders for my ends and keeps my hair smelling a.ma.zing! I use it every day so I go through a bottle pretty quickly, but it’s only like $6 so it’s no biggie to have to buy it more often than usual!

This leave in conditioner is a new addition to my hair regimen, and it is here to stay! It smells like HEAVEN and makes my hair so silky it’s insane.

So last but not least are myyyy

Eyebrows!

I don’t wear makeup to work, but I ALWAYS wear eyebrow gel because it has been a staple in my life since growing my eyebrows in! All I do is quick swipe over my brows, and then comb them up with an eyebrow brush. Easy-peasy!

IMG_9490.jpg

Excuse my product’s ratty appearance, I use them everyday so they’re a little worn and torn!

So there ya have it, my morning routine!

IMG_9514.jpg

What’s your morning routine like? Do you use any of the same products as me? Most importantly, is there a to-die-for product that I’m missing out on? Fill a girl in!

Have a great night everyone and talk soon! xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get some positivity up in here and give ourselves a HUGE pat on the back!

Hey everyone!

I have been feeling SO happy lately, and I really think it has to do with the fact that I’m realizing that the world is changing. 

In such a beautiful way.

People now seem to care more than they ever did before, and that’s all we can really ask for.

While we can look at the world and point out every horrific thing that is happening, we can also point out every amazing change that has been made. Compared to other generations, we are making so much progress!

Lately, I have been feeling more than ever that animals soon will see justice and will no longer be exploited by humans for money, for entertainment, for food, for our benefit.

13346846_10153910175589475_8867016154029527370_n

Think about 100 years ago. SO many people didn’t even know what the word vegan meant. Yeah, there’s plenty of people like that today too, but still. Today is so different! The amount of progress that this movement has made is HUGE, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

13891959_10154072069409475_1334954862762087896_n.jpg

Recently, two of my friends (hey Cait and Bianca!) both separately told me that they wanted to try out a vegan lifestyle, and that, to me, is huge. I know that we all care so much about different things, and most of us do care about animals, but to decide to move towards a plant based life is such an amazing choice to make!

The amount of vegan friends I have is really encouraging to me as well. I am so so so lucky to have so many gorgeous friends who also have the same set of morals in regards to the treatment of animals as I do. When I first went vegan, I thought I would constantly feel alone, but I feel more comforted as a vegan than ever before. 

Today at work, I was talking to one of my coworkers about how long she’s been vegan for. When I asked her how long it has been, she so nonchalantly went “over 40 years.” 40 YEARS!!!! That’s insane, guys!! She was saying that she’s noticed such a change in the movement since she’s gone vegan. She said 40 years ago no one was vegan, and now it so amazing how accepted it is.

13221674_10153892898564475_7683342561545675561_n.jpg

Which leads me to my next point, which is people being accepting of a vegan diet. So what I’m about to say is not meant to be harsh or judgmental in any way, I’m just saying how I feel. I hate how many people don’t accept others for being vegan, when it simply means a compassionate lifestyle. A lifestyle that doesn’t hurt others. A lifestyle that doesn’t take the lives of living beings just for our pleasure. You would think it would almost be the other way around, that it would be more typical for vegans to not accept an omnivore’s diet. It bums me out that I have met SO many vegans who feel the need to silence themselves about their veganism just to please others who don’t accept it.

So to sum up that little paragraph of negativity, I hate that I even have to say that “so many people are accepting of a vegan lifestyle nowadays,” because people already should be accepting of it. That’s like being like “hey, that person is just too considerate of others, and therefore I don’t accept their lifestyle choices.”

BUT! People are changing and the world is getting more and more beautiful each day.

13413128_10153927565529475_3920982013105985324_n.jpg

For instance, the amount of positivity I receive in my life just from being vegan is so wonderful to me. Being vegan makes me so incredibly happy. It makes me feel SO healthy, so positive, so pure, so whole. If there is one thing in my life that I could absolutely never give up, it is being vegan, because it is so very much a part of who I am.

Don’t we want to be better than past generations? Don’t we want to be kind? I know few people who are actually cruel at heart, and I think that’s such a sign in itself. I personally believe the reason we still exploit animals for food as a society is because it’s the way it has always been. People remember their mom’s meatballs and their dad’s hamburgers and think that going vegan would make them abandon everything about who they used to be. There are (in my opinion, MORE) delicious food options out there than most would expect.

There’s nothing holding us back from making a positive change but ourselves.

13876658_10154084286554475_3837575796324566114_n.png

One thing that blows my mind is that 400 million fewer animals were killed in 2014 because people are eating less meat. Wow. Just wow.❤❤❤

I know it can seem like the world is full of horrible things, but I think it’s crazy that so many of us are vegan/care about animals. IT’S AMAZING!!!! Seriously, I know the numbers aren’t as great as we’d all like them to be, but there is still an ASTOUNDING amount of us who care and want to make a difference.

Do you guys think that things are changing for the better? I would love to hear any stories of when you realized that veganism is actually changing the world.

14068093_10154114428464475_4903649461949723398_n.png

All of this makes me so incredibly happy. I love you all.

 

 

 

I now work at Catskill Animal Sanctuary and it’s LOVELY.

Hey hey! What’s new everyone?

I wanted to tell you guys a lil bit about my new job today! I recently left the wonderland of Lagusta’s Luscious (SUPER SAD about it cause I loved working there) but am now working at Catskill Animal Sanctuary as a Communications Associate, and I LOVE it. This job is heaven on earth and I am soooo happy to be working with them! Have you guys heard of/been to Catskill Animal Sanctuary?

The sanctuary not only rescues animals and takes them in, but it also promotes a vegan lifestyle, which is why I am thrilled to be working with them. There’s a bunch of fun stuff to do with the sanctuary, too! There are cooking classes, weekend tours, yoga classes, a gorgeous b&b to stay at overnight, and even a kids camp during the summer called Camp Kindness. Heaven. On. Earth.

As a communications associate, part of my job is to walk around the sanctuary and get lots of photos and videos for the various social media channels. It’s so great! Never did I ever think that part of my daily work would be interacting and getting footage of some of the most beautiful animals I have ever seen, and I am not complaining.

I’m someone who loves a lot of the different aspects of social media, although that may be obvious because I run this blog just for fun (haha,) but I also love doing everything I can to help animals, so the two together make this job absolutely amazing. Plus everyone I work with is WONDERFUL. They are all so kind and talented and I feel so lucky to be working among such an amazing team!

So I figured I’d share some photos and stories of the animals I’ve gotten to know so far, because who doesn’t love cute animal photos…. Literally no one.

To my (semi)surprise, I really love the roosters at the sanctuary. I’ve always thought that they were cute, but never had any real interaction with a rooster before. ROOSTERS. ARE. AWESOME. They each have such different personalities and are such curious little guys. My favorite rooster is Chad, he is soooo friendly. His crow is so distinct and really easy to tell him apart from the others, so I love hearing him all over the sanctuary and thinking of my little Chad.❤

This is not my beloved Chad (I only have videos of him because I love his crow!), but another roosters (whose name I do not know!) that I always see every day when I walk around to take pictures. He’s SO photogenic.

rooooster.jpg

Here’s another Rooster who I think is GORGEOUS. Look at his eyes! His name is Vito❤

vito.jpg

All of the birds at the sanctuary are amazing, actually. The turkeys are beautiful, their calls are soooo soothing to listen to. This is my favorite picture of all time, she was so curious and came right up to me (and also gave my phone a good peck! Haha.)

turkey.jpg

The goats are FUN. Most of them are so outgoing and a little kooky, which is how I like my goats! Ha, kidding cause I’ve never really been around goats before! There’s this one goat, Bartleby, who is RAM.BUNC.TIOUS. He is known for knocking little kids over because they are his same height, and has such an energetic look in his eye like he can’t wait to go wild at a moment’s notice. He is super affectionate and reminds me a lot of my old dog, Buddy! AKA that means that I LOVE him.

Here are two of the younger goats eating some willow as one of my coworkers feeds them, loooook at them! They’re so beautiful❤

goats.jpg

Also, here is Violet! She is one of the more “famous” goats at the sanctuary because of a video that was posted of her as a baby.

Violet.jpg

She’s such a cutie!!

The pigs are something else. I have been a HUGE pig lover since I was a kid, so saying I was excited to work with pigs is an understatement. As a kid, I even had a spot all planned out of where my future pig would lay in the mud in my parent’s backyard. I was SERIOUS about adopting a pig, but obviously didn’t know how much work they really are to live with!

Sister Mary Francis is this PRECIOUS pig who is usually free-ranging the sanctuary. She’s a sucker for belly rubs, so if you rub her belly when she’s standing up, she’ll usually come crashing to the ground to give you easier access to her belly. Here is a video of it, I watched it abouuuuttt 20 times when I first saw this because she’s SO CUTE.

Sister Mary Frances is a pig who knows exactly what she wants: LOVE and BELLY RUBS. Happily for her, caregiver Cerri has plenty of both to give. ☺ 🐖 ❤

A video posted by Catskill Animal Sanctuary (@catskill_animal_sanctuary) on

LOOK AT THAT PRECIOUS GIRL. HOW IS SHE EVEN A REAL LIVING BEING, SHE IS TOO PERFECT.

Sometimes when you’re petting her, she doesn’t even look up from the food that she’s eating, and I really respect that in someone. Eye on the prize, ya know?

The last lovely being that I want to tell you guys about is Lucy. Lucy is my desk pal, and she keeps working at a desk fun and cuddly. She has a bed on the corner of my desk and sits there all day, and I absolutely love it. We have a morning routine, also! When I come in in the morning, I unpack my bag onto my desk and she rubs herself against everything I put out, I get her fresh water for her mug and put it on the windowsill, then I scratch her head for 5 minutes and then she usually sleeps on her bed on my desk for the rest of the day. Sometimes she perks up when I’m eating my lunch, but usually she’s a lazy lady (she is 16, after all!) Today though, there was a solid hour where she wasn’t enjoying me doing work! She would sit right in front of my keyboard, and then when I would go to type, she’d lightly tap my hand away and nudge her head towards me. She is an angel. This is the gorgeous sight that I get to see on my desk every day❤

Lucy Goosey

I call her Lucy Goosey a lot, and lately I’ve just been calling her my Goose and she seems to like it! I have such a love for her.

Well that about wraps up this lil Catskill Animal Sanctuary update! I’m sure I’ll be sharing many more photos with y’all of the gorgeous animals. Are there any in particular that you want to see photos of?

Have an amazing night everyone!❤🙂❤

Portabellas and cauliflower, two peas in a pod

Hey y’all! What’s new today? Hope everyone’s having a lovely end to their summer!

Today I wanted to share with you guys a staple meal that I’ve been making a lot lately, and it features two of my favorite veggies: mushrooms and cauliflower! So today we’re making…

Juicy smoky portabellas over garlic thyme cauliflower rice!

IMG_8696.jpg

I’ve been wanting to do a post on this lil new fave meal of mine because as simple as it is, you just caaaaan’t go wrong with it. Plus, it’s a crowd pleaser and a convo starter being that cauliflower seems to be suuuuuper trendy right now (LOL, only half kidding tho…)

I have always been a huge mushroom lover. How about you guys? I remember not loving them when I was a kid as a vegetarian and then one day, BAM, I realized that mushrooms are God’s delicate and scrumptious gifts to us! They are SO lovely and versatile.

So you know it’s a fancy night in our apartment when my boyfriend Jon and I make something with portabella mushrooms. I don’t know what it is about them, but they feel way more decadent and exciting than regular white mushrooms. Do you get what I mean? They’re just more exciting! Either that or we just REALLY love portabella mushrooms a weird amount…

Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a big head of cauliflower and two huge portabellas in the fridge, and not much else. That’s always my favorite time to cook, when ingredients are limited because you have to get crafty! So I decided to finally try cauliflower rice and season it with my absolute favorite seasoning power couple, garlic and thyme.

Let’s take a sec to talk about how PERFECT garlic and thyme go together. They’re a match made in heaven! Garlic and thyme croutons, garlic and thyme cauliflower rice, garlic and thyme tofu, the list goes on and on of what garlic and thyme go perfectly with!

So before we dive into this recipe, I wanted to throw it out there that this recipe serves one. You know me and my single serve recipes, I love em! Plus, it’s super easy to just multiply the ingredients by however many people you’re serving!

So let’s start with the cauliflower rice first, shall we?

Ingredients
Olive oil
4 cups raw cauliflower rice (I’ll explain below!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

First things first, let’s discuss what “raw cauliflower rice” means. Heads of cauliflower range in size like crazy, so when writing this recipe out, I realized saying “a head of cauliflower” was super vague. So the cauliflower in this recipe is measured in cups of raw, already “rice-like” cauliflower.

In order to prepare your cauliflower to be rice, a food processor is key! What I like to do with the head of cauliflower is break it up into smaller pieces, and pulse in the food processor until the cauliflower semi-resembles rice. I’ll show ya what my raw rice looks like before I cook it:

IMG_8683.jpg

 

I’ve read a lot of different methods of making cauliflower rice, and many of them say to “press” your raw rice to remove moisture. The one time I tried that, it was a huuuuuge mess and ever since I haven’t pressed it, and it turns out great! Whatever works for you, do that, but for me no pressing was the way to go.

Alright, so once you have your raw cauliflower rice all set up, heat 1 TB or so of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, and salt to your liking. I once heard that you should always salt your veggies right when they start cooking, and I’ve done that ever since. Hasn’t failed me yet! Cover the pan with a lid and let the cauliflower steam for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove lid and add more oil as needed. Let the rice get a little brown and crispy, then add thyme, garlic, and pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the rice is no longer cauliflower white and looks nice and crispy. I like to let my rice get nice and brown, but I’m sure anything ranging from a light to dark tan works just fine.

That’s pretty much it for the cauli-rice! Let’s move on to the…

Juicy smoky portabella mushrooms!

Ingredients
2 large portabella mushrooms
1 TB soy sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Vegan butter

First things first, I always remove the stems from my  portabellas (and put them in my “broth bag” in the freezer for later, who doesn’t like a mushroom broth?!) But you can leave the stems on if you like as well, whatever floats your boat! Slice the caps about 1/4 inch thick, or however thick you prefer your mushrooms.

Melt 1 TB or so of your vegan butter in a pan over medium heat, and add sliced portabellas. One thing that I will forever do when making sauteed mushrooms is sautee them in butter as opposed to olive oil. When I first met Jon, he told me that he only ever makes mushrooms with butter and a lot of cumin, and ever since it’s the only way I like my mushrooms. He’s a smart cookie, that one!

Add your soy sauce, liquid smoke, lemon juice, cumin, and balsamic vinegar and toss with a spatula so that all of the portabellas are coated. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms look done.

You can serve this however you’d like, so get crafty with it! I tend to stick to the boring side and opt for a wide bowl where I spoon the rice in first, then place the mushrooms on top. I love putting the mushrooms on the rice because the mushrooms get super juicy and play really well with the cauliflower rice. YUMMM.

IMG_8699.jpg

One thing I wanted to mention while posting about this recipe is liquid smoke. How many of you have heard of it before? I honestly hadn’t until I got Kristy Turner’s cookbook But I Could Never Go Vegan! (Side note: this is a FUN cookbook. LOT’S of different types of meals that really make you broaden your horizons. I love it!) Back to liquid smoke though, I had never heard of it until I made Kristy’s tempeh bacon, which uses liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is pretty much a liquid concentrate of smoke from burning hickory wood, and it is heavenly. I’m someone who loves when I go outside at night in the summer and my hair starts to smell like a campfire, so liquid smoke is obviously right up my alley. It’s also pretty easy to find in grocery stores, so definitely get yourself a bottle of this ASAP!

This meal is so so so filling, and it’s all veggies! Warning: if you plan on drinking after, maybe get some carbs in ya also cause Jon and I got veryyyyyy tipsy off of just 2 drinks after this deceivingly filling meal. BUT it’s great if you’re someone like me who always feels like a bottomless pit and needs a dump truck amount of food to make you feel full, because this one really does the trick all while being super healthy because it’s all vegetables!

I make all veggie meals like this every day, but something about the way the flavors play off of each other is so amazing that I couldn’t not share this with you guys!!! 2 good 2 b tru❤

Enjoy and let me know what you guys think, or if there’s anything you think I should add! PEACE OUT❤

 

 

 

 

Let’s go out to eat, shall we?

So for today’s post we’re going to be talking about something that I am extremely passionate about. I’m talking dreaming about it, can’t stop thinking about it, day dreaming about it when I should be in conversation with someone else. That thing that I’m so extremely devoted to? Going out to eat.

I love it! I LOVE to cook, but getting to try new foods created by different people is just SO exciting to me.

One thing that a lot of people ask me when they hear that I’m vegan is how do I go out to eat at restaurants, and I both love it and hate it when they ask me this. I love it because going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do, so I love telling people how easy it is as a vegan. On the other hand, I hate it when people ask this because it reminds me how many people truly do think that as a vegan, you can’t eat anywhere, you can’t eat anything, you can’t eat with your friends, and that’s snot true.

So I’m going to share a couple of tips today on going out to eat as a vegan!

One thing that I’ve learned that has really surprised me is the nicer the restaurant, the easier it is to get a (delicious!) vegan meal. I used to look at fancy restaurant menus and see that there wasn’t even vegetarian options let alone vegan options, and think I was out of luck but I was soooo wrong.

So when I graduated college, my friend had a grad party and her whole family took us to this pretty much farm to table meat restaurant. Everything had meat in it, they didn’t even have a single vegetarian meal.

Real quick tho, let’s backtrack before I continue with this (soon to be) fairytale of a story. So one thing that I like to do at restaurants like this is not tell them that I’m vegan, but rather that I don’t eat meat, dairy, and eggs. Sometimes the word “vegan” can come off as standoffish depending on who you’re talking to and their experience with veganism in the past, as sad as this is, because when it comes down to it it’s just a compassionate lifestyle. Some people just don’t like the word!

Some people also don’t know what vegan means, and that runs the risk of either making your server feel stupid which is never good, or you getting the wrong type of meal. To avoid all of these things, I stick to the “I don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs” spiel.

So back to the grad party. When I asked our server if they had anything off menu that didn’t have meat, dairy, or eggs in it, he was so sweet and instantly went, “Oh you’re vegan! The chef loves making vegan food, it’s a fun little challenge for him.”

So later that night, they came out with the BEST pasta dish that I have ever had in my LIFE. I kid you not. And it wasn’t even on the menu! It just had all these amazing fresh grilled veggies with a basil sauce over pasta. And I feel like usually I’d think about grilled vegetables and pasta and be like “been there done that, that’s all I ever eat at BBQs and parties” but this dish was special. It was some gooourmet pasta we’re talking about.

I still think about that pasta dish, that’s how mind blowing it was.

I’m so glad that I asked if they had anything vegan, because I could have just ordered a wimpy side salad without any chicken on it and that would have been the saddest dinner ever, and I ended up getting the best, best pasta of my life.

So another thing I recommend when going out to eat is always be nice to your server. No matter how rude they are back to you, as a vegan, you’re kind of the face of the movement for that person at that moment. I’ve had a lot of servers who didn’t even know what vegan means, and I’ve been their first encounter with the lifestyle. I feel that it’s super important to beat that stereotype that vegans are all snooty, I’m-better-than-you kind of people and show whoever you’re talking to that (obviously) we’re just like everyone else, the only difference is that we just want to reduce the amount of suffering that we contribute to. Simple as that.

It really sucks that there’s such a stereotype, because so many of my vegan friends are the most kind, compassionate, polite people I know.

So another thing that I do when going out to eat is I LOVE to check the menu ahead of time, for a few reasons. Reason #1 is I like to know what I’ll be ordering later that day so I can salivate over it for the hours leading up to the meal. Reason #2 is I like to make sure it is possible for me to order vegan. Especially if you’re going somewhere with your new significant other’s family or something like that, it never hurts to call the restaurant ahead of time and explain your diet as ask if they can work with it.

No matter what tho, don’t be afraid to speak up because you have nothing to be ashamed of. I used to experience a sense of shame when I would order vegan food. I’d be like “I’m SO sorry for the inconvenience” and it’s not an inconvenience, it’s a diet that, when you know what it is, is extremely easy to accommodate for because it’s basically just vegetables and grains and beans and nuts and all that good stuff. Once you know the 411, the options are limitless.

But! I used to feel super afraid to speak up about it, and you should never be afraid to speak up about something that you know is doing so much good for the world.

PLUS! Look at it from this angle, if you’re extremely nice about your vegan diet, you could potentially be changing someone. You don’t know, but they could go home and be like “they were so nice, I want to see what this vegan thing is all about,” and they could potentially go vegan and the world has you to thank for that!

So we talked about fancy places, but we haavveee to talk about places that are on the cheaper side.

Taco Bell is BIG love of mine. They actually recently came out with a certified vegetarian menu and even a guide of how to eat meatless at Taco Bell. Major points for Taco Bell. So my two favorite things to get there are the crunchwrap and black bean burrito. With the crunchwrap, I sub beef for their refried beans, and sour cream and cheese for guacamole and potatoes. TRUST ME on the potatoes. Heavenly. To die for. Then I get their bean burrito, which usually is beans, salsa, and cheese but I sub the cheese for, what else, potatoes. The three ingredients are a match made in heaven! Seriously, go try these two things at Taco Bell right now. Don’t even finish reading this post, just get your butt over there and enjoy some cheap and fast ‘ritos and crunchwraps.

Can we also just talk about Chipotle’s sofritas for a minute? Also a MAJOR game changer. If you haven’t had Chipotle’s sofritas yet, I’m afraid to say that I don’t think you’ve truly lived.

Here’s a random one, McDonalds’ apple pies are vegan! My boyfriend Jon and I were driving home from Cape Cod last weekend and stopped at a rest stop really late at night and the only thing that was open was McDonalds, so we obviously had to get their apple pies. They are just as good as I remember them being when I was 7 and super into fast food!

So there are SO many fast food hacks that you can do to vegan-ize your quick meal. I could list them all and bore all y’all to death, or I could just post this VERY helpful list and let you look at your own leisure.

So another lil tip that has gotten me through many a dinner is that if there is tofu in one dish, chances are they can sub the meat in any other dish for tofu. Especially at Asian restaurants, they can almost always just swap chicken or beef for tofu. This one Chinese restaurant I go to has a tofu and broccoli dish, and one day I found out that I could sub the tofu that’s only listed in that one dish with any other dish as well. LIFE CHANGING.

At Mexican restaurants, I always ask for no dairy (sour cream and cheese) and substitute that for guacamole, and they usually do that without an extra cost. Getting guac for free is a prettyyyy big deal in my book, so I love that trick.

Sometimes you can even sub sides that have dairy or meat in them for fries. (❤ ) I always get these tofu wings at this bar near my apartment, and instead of getting the side of blue cheese and coleslaw, I get curly fries which in my opinion, are way better than ANY side you could ever get, vegan or not. (BTW, curly fries are the way to my heart, just putting that out there.)

So what are your tips to eating out vegan? I would seriously LOVE to hear about all of them. LOVE TO. This stuff is my jam in case you couldn’t tell.

Share though, guys, spill the juicy deets!

Have a good night all you wonderful people❤❤❤

 

It’s Sunshine Blogger Awards Time!

Hey everyone!! How have you all been? Sorry for the lil week hiatus I took, I was on vacation in Cape Cod with my boyfriend and his family and took some muchhhh needed decompressing time. But now I’m back in full swing so expect posts on the regs!

So what’s new with you guys? Anyone religiously watching the Olympics?

So I got nominated by two lovely ladies for the Sunshine Blogger Awards, and figured I would make today’s post about that! The rules are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

ba3.jpg

The first gal I was nominated by is Nancy from Vegan Food For Peace.

I am honored to be nominated by her because her blog is SO well put together, and it doesn’t hurt that she is an amazing writer as well. Plus, she’s all about spreading veganism so that’s always an automatic check plus in my book❤ So below are her 11 questions and my answers:

  1. If you could do anything you wanted tomorrow…what would it be?
    • Hmm.. I would have to say go back to the beach! Doesn’t matter where, I just feel like I didn’t get as much of the beach this summer as I wanted to!
  2. Name a piece of music you couldn’t do without.
    • Four Winds by Bright Eyes, that piece is seriously magical. I even did a string composition of it during a music theory class, so studying it in depth J just made my love for it grow more!
  3. If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?:)
    • Dog or pig, but that’s just me being biased because I love dogs and pigs SO much. Any animal really tho would be cool to be!
  4. What’s your favourite vegetable?
    • Artichokes all the way baby!
  5. What’s your favourite time of day…and why?
    • After dinner because I loooooove taking walks after dinner.
  6. You can invite three people to a dinner party…anyone at all.  Who would you invite and why….?
    • This is tough! Hm… Danny DeVito because he is a literal acting genius, Leonardo DiCaprio because he helps animals in so many different ways and is in ALL of my favorite movies, and Joaquin Phoenix because… this says it all.
  7. What, according to your friends, is the most annoying thing you do?:)
    • I’m not too sure about this! Sometimes I can be too peppy?
  8. What’s your favourite snack?
    • TOO many to list, but as of this moment I’m really loving anything slathered in peanut butter
  9. What country most appeals to you as a place to visit…and why?
    • Italy! I visited when I was younger and absolutely fell in love with Sicily, and would love to go back and see it as an adult.
  10. What musical instrument do you play …or would like to learn…and why?
    • I play piano! I haven’t been playing much lately cause my piano is at my parents house, but I’ve played since I was a kid.
  11. Oh and btw. Why do you write a blog?
    • I write this blog because I want to show everyone how it’s suuuuper easy and amazing to be vegan!!

The second lady that nominated me is Lucy from Simply Lala!

I LOVE Lucy’s blog because she talks about how her plant-based diet has changed her life for the better, and who doesn’t love to hear about that inspirational type of stuff?! Here are Lucy’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite flavour humous?
    • Edamame! Just had some actually.
  2. Would you rather swallow a huge live spider or walk through the street naked?
    • Hands down walk through the street naked! We all have naked bodies under our clothes, we all do NOT have huge spiders running around in our stomachs.
  3. Are you a party animal or a “stay in and watch films with your BFF” sort of person?
    • Def both, I love me a good Netflix night but also love getting all dolled up and going out!
  4. What is your favourite spice?
    • Cumin!
  5. What is the best holiday you’ve ever been on?
    • This is tough! I always love going to Cape Cod with my boyfriend, so all 3 years of that will have to be my answer.
  6. Think of the personality traits that you possess; which is the one that you love the most?
    • I def value my optimism the most!
  7. Indian or Italian cuisine? (Tough choice, I know).
    • Even though I’m Italian, Indian all the way!
  8. Night owl or early riser?
    • I wiiiish I was an early riser, but as of now I’m a total night owl.
  9. Do you prefer tea or coffee?
    • TEA. I have such a hatred for coffee, it makes me feel SO weird.
  10. What is your biggest hobby/ passion?
    • My biggest passion is the animal rights movement, but I feel like you guys knew that already LOL
  11. Have you ever given a guy/ girl a fake phone number?
    • Hell no, I’m not about being mean like that! If I’m not interested, I’ll just say so haha.

Okay so my 11 questions are!

  1. What is your favorite smell?
  2. Who was your favorite animal that you’ve ever met?
  3. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  4. Does outer space intrigue you as much as it does me? (LOL)
  5. Do you like hot or cold weather better?
  6. No matter how ambitious, what is one goal that you feel you need to accomplish in your lifetime?
  7. What is your favorite part of blogging?
  8. Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows/movies?
  9. Do you believe in ghosts/the supernatural?
  10. Who is your favorite band and why?
  11. Do you have any nicknames?

And finally, the 11 amazing blogs that I would like to nominate are as follows (in no particular order!) :

  1. Colour Your Life
  2. The Bruges Vegan 
  3. A Kinder Way
  4. The Recovering Know It All
  5. Gone Deliciously Vegan
  6. Vegan, Party of Three
  7. Asian Vegan Mom
  8. The Impressionable Vegan
  9. A Year of Vegan Eats
  10. Fashion Schlub
  11. Yosogreen

I love this sunshine blogger idea because blogging is so fun and enjoyable and I think we should try our hardest to keep it that way! Plus, most of the fun of blogging is interacting with each other so I’m all about this!

Have fun writing everyone, I look forward to reading your answers! xoxo

Vegans make the best-o pesto

While “vegans make the best(o) pesto” may be a debatable statement, I’m so passionate about the batch of pesto that I just whipped up that I may have to declare the title of this post a fact.

If you can’t tell, this is a VERY serious post about pesto.

IMG_8172.JPG

Okay, maybe not super serious, but you get the point. When it comes to pesto, I mean business!

First things first, how are you guys? Is it nice summer weather where y’all live? I always think it’s so cool that blogging brings people from around the world together. Pretty neat!

So I feel like everyone has been really excited about zoodles and all those other veggie noodles lately, and I will be the first to say that I am NOT a fan of replacing my carbs with veggies.

(BTW, zoodle= zucchini noodle)

Yeah, it’s great for weight loss, but I like to cook for taste and not for health. (That being said, “good taste” to me does mean a lot of meals consisting of only vegetables because vegetables are the absolute greatest thing on this earth, I don’t want you guys to think me saying that I cook for taste means that I deep fry every meal.)

BUT! I was not a fan of replacing spaghetti with boiled zucchini.

So the “zoodle maker” I have isn’t actually called a zoodle maker, it’s called the Veggetti, as I’m sure many of you have seen on TV. My dad (hey dad!) bought it for me because he thought I’d like it, and boy does he know me well. There was a hefty month where I was obsessed with Veggetti-ing potatoes and making potato pancakes, YUM.

When I first got my Veggetti, I tried out the classic zoodles and marinara sauce, and it was just too watery and didn’t really work out too well. I was really turned off from the whole zoodle idea after my first try. I love my Veggetti for cucumber salads and stuff, but never really used it for an actual veggie pasta dish.

Yesterday, I was driving from my apartment to my parents’ house, and I realized that I was really in the mood for pesto but I wasn’t in the mood for a big ole bowl of pasta. Somehow I remembered that I had my Veggetti, and decided to give the whole zoodle idea another whirl.

Thank GOODNESS I had that random car thought because something about these zoodles goes better with this pesto than regular pasta would, and let me just make this clear, I am not someone who can eat raw plain veggies and be satisfied. I need my food to be filling, nutritious, and jam packed with flavor. So this whole zoodle preference is GROUND BREAKING. This is something special right here.

IMG_8166.JPG

I was at just the right place to make this recipe too, because my parents have an AMAZING garden. It’s such a treat to visit, especially because the only plants that my boyfriend Jon and I are able to grow in our tiny apartment is basil and mint, and even that is limited because of the amount of sunlight that (doesn’t) make its way into our apartment.

So this is just a single serve recipe for one zucchnini-zoodle serving size, so if you want to make more, just multiply the recipe by however many zucchinis you’re using.

Single serve recipes are the way to go for me, are any of you the same way? I don’t have a family yet, so besides me, the only other person I usually cook for is Jon, so I always like to do my recipes single serve style and double it if I’m cooking for him too.

ANYWHO, here’s what ya need for the pesto:

1/2 cup packed basil
1 peeled, crushed garlic clove
1 handful of nuts of your choice
1/4-1/8 C olive oil
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

Pretty much like all of my recipes, throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have your desired consistency!

As for making the zoodles themself, veggetti-up a zucchini, boil your zoodles for 3-ish minutes and you’re good to go.

Alright, so let’s talk nuts in this recipe. I didn’t have pine nuts (which I love) so I used half a handful of walnuts and half a handful of almonds. I also would highly recommend pecans, because adding pecans to any recipe is almost always a superb idea. The different types of nuts really give this pesto some depth. I recommend experimenting with some other different types of nuts! I wonder what pistachios would be like?

As for the oil, I’m not afraid of some good ole olive oil so I used 1/4 of a cup, but you can use 1/8 or whatever your pesto-loving-heart desires!

The nutritional yeast gives the pesto a nice cheesy flavor. I REALLY love using nutritional yeast, do you guys use it a lot in cooking? I pretty much swear by it.

Considering the lack of dairy parmesan cheese in this recipe, this pesto is sooo cheesy with all the nuts and nutritional yeast. You can’t really go wrong with a good cheesy pesto! (Actually, you can’t really go wrong with a good cheesy anything. If I were to ever go on a reality show like the Bachelor where they have your name in the corner of the screen then under it lists your profession, I’d like to believe that my profession would be listed as “professional cheese veganizer” because I love sneaking my vegan cheese tips into anything and everything that I make.)

Also, check out my baby Sammy! He really wanted some zoodles and pesto, which he obviously got after this photo was taken.

IMG_8180.JPG

I topped my pesto zoodles with some cherry tomatoes from the garden because who doesn’t love a fresh tomato?! WAY WAY WAY better than any store bought tomato I’ve ever had.

I would also just like to throw it out there that this recipe is SO easy to make. I can’t stress that enough. And the flavors are so complimentary and vibrant, so you’re not compromising flavor for time. This recipe is pretty much the total package.

Come to think of it, pesto is practically the greatest thing on this earth. Can we all just take a moment to give it up for pesto? 3 CHEERS FOR YOU, DEAR PESTO!

 

 

 

 

Hey y’all!/10 Billion Lives Warped Tour hot gossip

HEY GUYS!

Okay so maybe there’s not too much hot gossip in this post, but one of my best friends Bianca has pretty much coined the term “hot gos (gossip) this summer, and it’s prettyyyyy fun to use. Try it out! (and of course think of Bianca when you do.)

Anyway!

How is summer treating all of you?! Getting tan? Enjoying some delish vegan meals? I wanna know all the deets.

I missed talking with you guys this past month so much! I originally had the intention of keeping up with my usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule (HA!) while I was on the road, but very quickly realized that there was barely even time for me to brush my hair, let alone craft out 3 blog posts per week.

So today I figured I’d let you guys know what touring with FARM with the 10 Billion Lives Tour on Warped Tour was like, and then next post I do we’ll start back up again with amazing vegan food finds, beauty products, and all the rest of that good stuff!

So…

I know I’m 23 and thought I got over that whole Warped Tour scene in high school, but I gotta say, I’m now a lover of the whole Warped Tour experience again! It was SO fun to get to see old bands that I used to LOVE (The Maine, We the Kings, Less than Jake holla holla!)

So basically, the deal with the 10 Billion Lives Tour is this. We lived in and worked out of a truck (pictured below) that had 8 screens on the sides of it.

IMG_7708

We all had signs that said “Get paid a dollar, watch a 4 minute video,” and would engage with people to see if they wanted to watch the video. The video discusses our food choices regarding animal agriculture, and while it’s pretty graphic and hard to watch (as is the animal agriculture industry) it is also super educational and something that everyone should watch once in their life. After the viewers watched the video, they’d come to one of us tour operators to get their dollar, and we’d discuss what they saw in the video.

A lot of times people said that they felt really sad after watching the video, understandably so, but we did get some people who would watch and claim that they didn’t care in the least bit. It was these people that really challenged me and helped me work on my conversations with non-vegans regarding veganism. Whether someone said that they were going to go vegan that minute, or that they didn’t care about animals and claimed to be a carnivore, (scientifically incorrect! But you knew that already😉 ) I was still grateful for all of the conversations that I had.

I really do feel like we made a solid amount of vegans though! So many people were super receptive of the information we presented them with, and it was so amazing to watch people drop their guards and decide to change their way of life.

One thing I learned was to NOT stereotype people by their looks. So many times, a viewer would approach me to get their dollar and I’d assume that they’d be super effected by the video and swear that they’d wanna go vegan, and instead they would try to fight me on the matter because they worked on a dairy farm or something along those terms. On the flip side of that, so many people who didn’t look like they’d have a care in the world about animals would say that they wanted to go vegan.

I was also shocked by the number of older viewers (50’s and up) who said they wanted to change their diets. I think that’s really amazing, cause so many adults that I have met use the excuse that they’ve lived their whole lives eating meat and aren’t going to change now. If we all don’t change a little bit, then life would be suuuuuper boring, so I really appreciated the older viewers who were also really interested in veganism.

Anywho, here are some cute viewers watching the video!

IMG_7514

So the people that I worked with were amazing. Including me, there was 4 of us tour operators, who lived together in the back of the truck. We also had 2 drivers who would drive us while we slept, and sleep during the day while we worked. Everyone I worked with was so lovely to get to know, and I wish I had more time with them!

Here’s all of us, plus our training boss, John, on our first day! Try to find me! (Hint: I’ve got the crazy shorts on!)

13507026_10154950018702678_490310625481213610_n

So lemme tell y’all, I ate better than I ever have in my life while on this tour. FARM is super serious about keeping their activists healthy and energetic, so we were able to buy all the avocados, nutritious (and expensive!) nuts and grains, and all that other good stuff that when I’m shopping on my own, usually skimp on because I’m only 23 and not sitting on a pile of gold (YET!) We had a food budget obviously, but a very generous one at that.

And for lunch every day, volunteers would bring us food from a local restaurant. This was one of the things I was most excited for on my trip. During the interview process, I was told that they always made sure to get us the best vegan food in the area, and they were NOT kidding. If the whole vegan outreach aspect wasn’t enough, getting to eat my way, vegan style, throughout the states was everything I could ever ask for.

One of the first places that we ate at was Spiral Diner in Dallas, TX. I got a cookies and cream milkshake and a “Big Kahuna” burger, which had chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapenos, red onions, vegan cheese, and guacamole. The experience was LIFE. CHANGING.

IMG_7476

IMG_7479

I didn’t take many other food pics, because I was always scarfing my food down too quickly to even think about taking a picture. Plus, I kind of semi-ditched my phone for the month which was really nice. But just imagine a month filled with the best vegan food possible, and that’s what the deal was.

I also realized that I LOVE the band State Champs, any of you guys know them? They’re great. I also got to see The Maine a bunch, which was funny because 9 years ago my high school self would have DIED.

IMG_7630

I would have to say that my favorite city that we visited was St Petersburg, FL. It was gorgeous and the venue that we were at was right on the bay. Plus, I got to see a baby hammerhead shark!

IMG_7586

IMG_7587

Later that night, my friends and I went swimming in the bay (mildly scary because of the shark, extremely gross because it was low tide and the seaweed was going BUCKWILD) but we got to see a bunch more aquatic life when we went for our swim! We saw a HUGE crab, a bunch of hermit crabs, and even a conch. What can I say, vegans love some good aquatic life!

So I have a million and a half more things that I would like to share, but I don’t wanna bore y’all!

To fill you in though, I start my new job soon! Have I told you guys about it? I’m heartbroken because I had to leave my chocolatier position at the AMAZING Lagusta’s Luscious, but I recently accepted a job at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary as a Communications Associate! I am BEYOND excited to start! Do any of you guys have animal rights related jobs? Fill me in if you do, I’d love to hear about them!

Which leads me to my next point. I used to stick to a strict schedule of posting on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s, and it’s time that schedule gets a little revision! At my chocolatier position, I was working 5 days a week and sometimes struggling to generate good content for this blog. I sometimes felt like I was posting just because I had to post, and not because the post was jam packed with amazing vegan tips that I was dying to share with you all. That is NOT how any form of generating content should be, so I’m now changing my schedule to Monday’s and Thursday’s, since I will also be full time at my new position. Quality over quantity, ya know? Plus, who wants to read a boring blog post? Literally no one.

ANYWHO, I can’t wait to dive back into sharing some easy and breezy vegan tips that I’ve come across lately!

Can’t wait to start talking to you guys on a regular basis again❤

Talk to y’all in the middle of July! 

Hey guys! How’s everyone’s summer going?? I figured I’d let you all know that I won’t be posting for the next month because I have been traveling with Farm Animal Rights Movement on the 10 Billion Lives Tour! I originally had the super naive idea that I’d still post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but we’ve been in Texas for only 4 days and already I have realized that I’m going to have zero time to do anything other than eat, sleep, and work!

(Btw, check out where I’m living for the month! Yes, it’s just as tiny on the inside as it looks!)


Also if you follow the 10 Billion Lives Tour Instagram, you may see me pop up every once in a while😉

So have a great June and July, and I’ll talk to you guys soon!!